NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ815244
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
ISSN: ISSN-1094-3501
Evaluating Automatic Detection of Misspellings in German
Rimrott, Anne; Heift, Trude
Language Learning & Technology, v12 n3 p73-92 Oct 2008
This study investigates the performance of a spell checker designed for native writers on misspellings made by second language (L2) learners. It addresses two research questions: 1) What is the correction rate of a generic spell checker for L2 misspellings? 2) What factors influence the correction rate of a generic spell checker for L2 misspellings? To explore these questions, the study considers a corpus of 1,027 unique misspellings from 48 Anglophone learners of German and classifies these along three error taxonomies: linguistic competence (competence versus performance misspellings), linguistic subsystem (lexical, morphological or phonological misspellings), and target modification (single-edit misspellings (edit distance = one) versus multiple-edit misspellings (edit distance greater than 1)). The study then evaluates the performance of the "Microsoft Word [R]" spell checker on these misspellings. Results indicate that only 62% of the L2 misspellings are corrected and that the spell checker, independent of other factors, generally cannot correct multiple-edit misspellings although it is quite successful in correcting single-edit errors. In contrast to most misspellings by native writers, many L2 misspellings are multiple-edit errors and are thus not corrected by a spell checker designed for native writers. The study concludes with computational and pedagogical suggestions to enhance spell checking in CALL. (Contains 6 tables, 2 figures and 11 notes.)
University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center. 1859 East-West Road #106, Honolulu, HI 96822. Tel: 808-956-9424; Fax: 808-956-5983; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A